I worked for two and a half hours on the back field yesterday, taking down more old line and weedwhacking raspberries, poplar and cherry saplings, grass, and goldenrod off the fence.
Three quarters of the fenceline is now clean.
As I worked, I thought about the future. Already the pasture fences I cleaned last month are becoming engulfed again. This is discouraging. I know an operation that has sprayed Roundup (glyphosate), the notorious herbicide from Monsanto, under its fences to eliminate this problem. The ground under their fences is brown and dead. Forever. (Or nearly forever. A feeble brown moss is growing, five years later.)
Though an easy solution is always tempting, I can’t spread poison on my land. So I am committed to mowing in some fashion. I think about this as I walk along, scything with the weedwhacker. I wonder if I will be strong enough to do it in twenty years. Or even ten years. It would be perfect if my acres were so smooth that I could mow the fencelines with a lawn tractor, but that day is a dream shimmering in the distance.
I tell myself I will hire a husky teenager.
I quit work on the field when the growl of thunder grew louder than the snarl of the weedwhacker. Rain! Hooray! It rained on and off for almost two hours while I ran into town to the bank, post office, and grocery store. Rain, rain! Thank you, God!
The sheep and geese ignored the raindrops.
As did the cattle when I turned them out to munch hay in the barn paddock (there is nothing desirable left in the knoll field).
Flossie, the barn cat, watched the rain fall from beneath the farm truck.
While I mucked the barn, Lucy and Stash set off on a five-mile trail run.
They didn’t mind the rain either.
Today it is cloudy, damp and cool. School house guests arrived yesterday for the coming week, and though I will be cooking and driving, I am hoping to get back out there this morning.